Yesterday Laila Yuile had a great column in 24Hrs about how Education Ministry meddling is disappearing kids who need help in the classroom. Here is a snippet:
...While it is correct that the numbers show a loss of “identified students” over the years, what is not mentioned is why. Those children didn’t just disappear, or stop needing help. The ministry changed how students with needs were designated, which left many children who had previously qualified for help, without any.
For example, gifted students are no longer recognized, which accounts for thousands of lost numbers. Children with ADHD –regardless of the severity — are also not included and receive no assistance, along with a long list of other disorders that the government refuses to recognize. Not helping these children succeed now costs society far more as they fall through the cracks and mature...
It's an excellent column.
And, to bring things into sharp relief on the priorities of the current provincial government, Norm Farrell, who pays attention to, and thinks hard about, hard numbers left this comment:
...I had opportunity to volunteer in a grade 2 class on Vancouver's east side. The class was mostly composed of children who did not have english as the first language. One child spoke only Spanish, others barely spoke English. The teacher collects craft materials from friends or buys them herself because the entire school budget for paper (including what is needed for photocopying) is $500.
That amount is less than one one-hundredth of 1% of the travel and capital living accomodation of ministers, deputy ministers and associate deputy ministers. Put another way, those expenses for a relative handful of people are 3,500 times the supplies budget for an entire public school, with hundreds of children...
Laila and Norm are both bloggers...But both are making a dent in proMedia circles while keeping their independence of word, deed and thought...This is not an insignificant development.